Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Do your own Wash

We are in high swing here at the University so I don't have much time to post but I had time to do a little experimenting with making my own wash.  First and foremost I don't have enough art knowledge to do this from scratch on my own.  My source was Les Bursley's awesome paint jobs.  If you know of Les you will know him from his incredible artwork that is featured on his blog as well as his very strong tutorial's on YouTube.  Les is launching an online store where he will be selling miniatures and I for one will make sure to place an order to support him.  He has generously shared a lot of good information that has assisted my painting greatly.  Les used to sell pigments and inks he made himself.  Not too long ago Les shared his recipe for making his inks.  This is a classic case of teaching a man to fish.
I followed Les' instructions exactly and purchased what he used to start my own wash making.  I purchased the art materials form Dick Blick and paid $39.54 that got me the Flow Aid a 16oz bottle of Matte Medium and the three inks.

I also purchased the exact bottles he uses through his links from Container & Packaging Supply.  If you have a fetish for containers this place is for you.  You can find cheaper bottles in a hobby and craft store but in this case I wanted to try exactly what Les was using to see for myself.  I like the quality and weight of these containers and I don't mind spending more for the quality.  I purchased 10 of the containers tips and tops.  The order only came to $13.70 however there was a $10.00 small order surcharge and $14.93 freight cost ouch.  I will be reusing my containers and if I ever order again I will order $50.00 which I believe is the amount that removes the small order charge.  I also have the squeeze bottles he uses.  I recognized these as Boston Bottles which I purchased at a Dick Blick store near me.  Dick Blick has brick and mortar stores but their online selection is cheaper and wider so I usually buy online.

The photo is a little out of focus someone borrowed my tripod the effect is best seen on the bottom of the top can of the battle wagon
I mixed up the ingredients as Les states in the video and I think the results are great, now these inks do separate as Les states so I added one of my lava rocks for agitation.  Les also gives recipes for his other inks and I mixed up a batch of his armor wash.  It works great you can see I used it on my Ork Battle wagon and it leaves a great finish that helps shade I think it also will work well on exhausts to give an oxidation effect.

What I love about Les' recipe is it also gives you the basics from which you can experiment yourself.  I also have these intense watercolors I saw used at A Gentleman's One and I used that to mix up a yellow wash to help with my Bad Moons.

You can see the dramatic separation above but this mixes well when you shake it up

I also adapted a recipe I saw Les use to create a patina wash I plan to do a rust wash as well.  In his video he mixes up a small batch with paint but I wanted to make a larger bottle using the inks that I could always have handy and would store well.  To create that wash I did 30 drops of olive green 40 drops of white and 30 drops of indigo.  I plan to experiment with some other colors put the possibilities are endless.  What I really love about this method is the start up is a little costly but in the long run you can mix up your own washes and not have to worry about running out to get a pot when it runs out you also can tweak inks to create whatever you want.  So go forth and wash your masses of plastic and metal and happy painting.


b.smoove said...

Tremendous idea. I am really compelled to try this, if only because of the personalized paint and ink pots it seems to offer. I would love to have an entire spread of colors that I'd tweaked to fit my tastes exactly. What an idea!!! And it seems so "doable."

I'm envious.

p.s. thanks for the nod.

Anonymous said...

Hi there, I'm also a fan of Les' washes, and have also done the big Dick Blick order for wash materials. I'm wondering what recipe you used for the rust wash? Also what kind of outcome it has on bare metal? I'm looking to make up a batch or two myself for reasonably consistent use on some metal bases.

mikegolfj3 said...

I too am a Les enthusiast. I like the larger (small) batch of the patina wash. Thanks for posting that! Please post how you went about making a larger (small) batch of the rust wash.

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